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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Doug's Domain

Doug Vetter, ATP/CFI

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oil Service, Fuel Filter

This week the car passed 160K miles and that prompted a check of my maintenance schedule. That revealed the need for an oil service, a fuel filter change, and a coolant flush. I knew the oil service would be easy enough, but the fuel filter and coolant flush would be firsts for me as DIY procedures.

(Image: Date in service written on fuel filter)After doing some research on the usual forums I realized that replacing the fuel filter would be a relatively simple process but I decided to wait on the coolant flush until I had received a clarification of one aspect of the procedure from a few other sources before tackling it. Better safe than sorry, especially when a $150 oxygen sensor is involved. Long story. I'll explain it when the time comes.

I expect to detail the fuel filter process in a DIY soon so I won't go into detail here but I will tell you that the way gasoline eats through polyisocyanurate insulation panels (you know, the stuff they put under residential siding and the very same panels I use to line the gravel driveway when I work outside under my car) is kind of cool. What's not cool is how the chemical reaction creates an evil goo that remains in molten form just long enough to find it's way into an unsuspecting DIY technician's hair.

Further, I learned that it is really hard to get the goo out of said technician's hair after the gasoline evaporates and the foam resolidifies unless one uses a solvent like, oh, say, gasoline applied to a blue shop towel to remove it. To borrow an old shampoo marketing slogan, "Gee, your hair smells like gasoline and polyisocyanurate foam". Oh well. If I get cancer, at least I'll know why. :-|

The labor rate at my dealer is now $110/hour so the labor savings from DIY oil services has risen as well. I now save about $90 in labor and $10 in parts doing this myself. The oil ran about $50 and the oil analysis remains about $20, so the basic cost for a DIY oil service and analysis at this point is $70 in parts.

The fuel filter was $30 and the labor to replace it at the dealer is $70. As usual the 7% sales tax largely offset the 10% CCA discount on the parts, so I saved $70 doing this myself.

Mileage: 160180, Parts: $100, Parts Saved: $10, Labor Saved: $160